Friday we decided to take another drive on the parkway. After the rain we knew the colors must have changed dramatically and with the wind, we knew the leaves would be falling rapidly.
We packed a lunch and decided to eat at the Craggy Garden picnic area. It rises above the parkway and has lots of picnic tables spread out at safe distances. The colors were magnificent. Blazes of oranges, golds and reds adorned the trees.
The elevation at the picnic area is approximately 5,600 ft. We could see clouds rolling in at a distance. As we turned to drive into the picnic area, we could actually see the fog push across the truck. Visibility was very low by the time we reached the parking lot. The temperature dropped to 49°F (9.4° C). The wind was cold so we ended up eating in the truck.
After we ate, we drove up to the visitors center. It was completely socked in. We were feeling sorry for bicyclists wondering how they would finish their descent safely. There are normally long range views, but as you can see from the video, there were no long range views to be seen. It was cold and windy!
We realized it would be futile and precarious to continue up toward Mt. Mitchell, so we headed back home. The wind shifted direction and suddenly things started to clear. We drove back into the picnic area and the difference in the weather in only 15 minutes was unbelievable.
Below the fog, the colors were truly amazing. Well worth the trip!
We took another drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway yesterday intending to take the short Craggy Gardens Trail. We did not go prepared for any possible weather condition, however. Even though it was nice and sunny here at home in the Foothills, there were quite a few thunder clouds forming as we got closer to Asheville.
We either missed the peak of the rhododendron blooms or it has not quite happened yet. We made the decision to dodge the storms and plan to go back early next week fully prepared.
The drive up and the scenery around Craggy Gardens was still gorgeous. We got a few lovely photos and enjoyed a tomato sandwich picnic on the tailgate of the truck.
On the way home we stopped at the Farmers Market and picked up some South Carolina peaches and some Grainger County, TN tomatoes. Fresh vegetables are always a welcome treat while we wait for our garden to produce for us. We have had cherry tomatoes, but that’s been it so far.
Back at home I went out to water some plants and encountered a rather large either black snake or rat snake hanging around the faucet. By the time I got hubby to urge him elsewhere, he was long gone. We will need to watch for him around the bird feeders now. They are very adept at tree climbing.
The day ended on a high note. The lightening bugs were putting on a nice display in the back yard. All and all, a rather special day.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L. M. Montgomery
Yesterday when we saw the prediction for two days of rain we decided to rearrange our day and take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The rain and wind coerce the leaves to fall to the ground creating a caramel-colored brown carpet woven of the remnants of summer. We wanted to see the splendor while the trees still had the color in their hair.
The black bear cubs were out again where we had seen them a few weeks before. I captured a couple of photos and a short video. At the end of the video when the bear retreats into the woods, you can hear him growl if you listen closely.
I tried to capture a little of the winding road as we weaved in and out of the trees. The light plays tricks as it changes from sunlit spaces to dark protected shadows.
Hubby snapped a photo of me in front of this vibrant red tree. I am not sure what was with that stance — ha!
And these photos that follow? They need no explanation.Just enjoy them. I certainly did enjoy taking them.
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When we left Little Switzerland, we decided since we had nothing pressing to do at home it would be a great day to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway home. Our GPS never lists it as a route, because it is hilly and curvy and the speed limit hovers around 35 or 40 mph.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic 469-mile scenic parkway that runs between Rockfish Gap, Virginia and ends near Cherokee, North Carolina. As with any project concerning setting aside land as part of a national park, the Parkway was not without its detractors. Today I am thankful it exists. Seeing this protected land makes me wonder how the terrain could have been impacted otherwise.
This is especially meaningful to me at a time when our national parks seem to be up for grabs to the highest bidder.
We stopped at every overlook between Little Switzerland and Craggy Gardens. Just before we reached Craggy Gardens, we decided to make the side trip up to the summit of Mount Mitchell. At an elevation of 6684 feet, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.
So, with no more words, I will just share the photos from our drive. Enjoy!
I look very unhappy in that last picture! It was a steep little climb in some thinner air for this tired old lady. I was not unhappy at all. It was a truly glorious day!